Free Pick – UNLV at Fresno State – College Football – 9/24/21

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fresno state at unlv cfb pick
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Fresno State hosts UNLV on Friday Night in a Mountain West Conference matchup. The Bulldogs are a hefty 30.5 point favorite with a total of 58. Kickoff is set for 10 PM EST and the game can be seen on CBS Sports Network.

Fresno State is turning some heads early in the 2021 college football season. They are 3-1 with their only loss coming to #3 Oregon. Last week they knocked off UCLA 40-37. Their other two wins came against weak opponents, UCONN and Cal poly.

UNLV is 0-3 with losses to Arizona State, Iowa State and Eastern Washington. A rough start for the Rebels and this is coming after a 2020 season which saw them go winless at 0-6.

Head to Head History

head-to-head history (lined games):
  
11/ 7/2020  Fresno State             40  -11.5  at UNLV                     27
10/18/2019  UNLV                     27  +15.0  at Fresno State             56
11/ 3/2018  Fresno State             48  -27.0  at UNLV                      3
10/28/2017  UNLV                     26  +21.5  at Fresno State             16
10/ 1/2016  Fresno State             20  + 9.5  at UNLV                     45
10/16/2015  UNLV                     28  - 5.5  at Fresno State             31
10/10/2014  Fresno State             27  -10.0  at UNLV                     30
10/19/2013  UNLV                     14  +25.0  at Fresno State             38
10/25/1997  UNLV                     28  +11.5  at Fresno State             46
10/26/1996  Fresno State             34  -18.0  at UNLV                     23
  
   average outcome:
     UNLV                    25.1  Fresno State            35.6
     margin =  10.50
  
   time-weighted average outcome:
     UNLV                    24.8  Fresno State            36.9
     margin =  12.06
  
   average result when the home team is Fresno State           
     UNLV                    24.6  Fresno State            37.4
     margin =  12.80
  
   average result when the home team is UNLV                   
     Fresno State            33.8  UNLV                    25.6
     margin =  -8.20
  
    50.00 % of games went Over
    50.00 % went Over at Fresno State           
    (since        2013 )
  
   average total points per game =  60.70
   time-weighted average total   =  61.65
  
   the home team covered  60.00 % of the time
   the road team covered  40.00 % of the time
   Ave ATS differential =  1.25
  
   the favorite  covered  50.00 % of the time
   the underdog  covered  50.00 % of the time
   Ave ATS differential = -0.55
  
   the favorite won SU    70.00 % of the time
  
   UNLV                    covered  50.00 % of the time
   Fresno State            covered  50.00 % of the time
  
   Fresno State            covered  60.00 % of the time at home
   Fresno State            covered  50.00 % of the time as home favorites

Is 30 Points Too Many?

As you can see above, the series as of late, has belonged to Fresno State. The last three years the games haven’t been close. Judging from the way each team has started it certainly looks as though that trend will continue.

But keep in mind, if you had given UNLV 30 points in each of the 10 games in this series, they would have gone 9-1 against the spread. Likewise, had you given UNLV 30 points in their 6 losses last year, they would have gone 5-1 against the spread and the one they lost would have been by 1 point.

Our model has Fresno State winning comfortably, but not by more than 30. It’s always difficult to back a bad football team. In fact, in the real world, we never do. There are far better investments on the board each week.

That said, our opinion here is that there’s some value in the UNLV side in this spot. Too many points in a game that might not get Fresno State’s best effort.

UNLV +30.5